Receiving MIDI program changes

I’ve done a good deal of searching about this, even blowing through some threads regarding how to do it on the older Elektron machines, both here and just general Google searching, but I’m not having any luck finding anything. Most people seem to use their Elektrons as the brain, so there’s not a lot of info on incoming messages.

I’m using a Squarp Pyramid to sequence several synths. Program changes and LSB/MSB info are stored right with the tracks, so when you fire them, the change is instant, works great. Even when the track isn’t playing, you get immediate control with the Pyramid’s knobs, so it’s obvious it’s been dialed in correctly before you even hit play.

But I’ve had zero luck changing patterns on the DT this way. Do these changes have to be chained to a note event or something? Also, I’ve seen mention about some of the Elektrons having a setting for instantaneous pattern changes…is that an option with the DT?

I’ve done a lot of reading in both manuals, but please let me know if I’m oblivious.


pattern change via midi (PC) is basic operation on almost every Elektron-box. Make sure that pc-receive is enabled in setup menu.

But: I assume you will not have so much success with the DT for the moment…

Well, it needs some time to know where to look at the manuals and how to perform a query in this forum. :wink:

Here a tiny reminder from my A4 (works on AR, MD, MM and OT):

AR ProgChange Pattern.pdf (47.7 KB)


as with every Elektron Machine: Program Change is received on the Auto Channel by Default (unless you change that). DTs Auto Channel is MIDI Ch. 14 by Default, A4 for example has MIDI Ch. 9 by Default. I assume that this is most likely the Problem - you are sending on the wrong MIDI Ch.


I was aware of the auto channel and changed it to the open one I wanted, with no success. I will try moving some things around and sending on the default, but it should have worked the way I had it.

As for the chart posted, does that mean that no MSB/LSB numbers are necessary? Just a straight prog chg number? That might be helpful, will give it a try. That information is not in the manual anywhere I could see…the midi implementation chart is not huge for the DT.

1 Like

yes. Only the numer is needed since your controller generates a pc.

Got it working. User error, as usual. Doesn’t seem to switch patterns instantaneously, which will undoubtedly cause problems, but at least it’s changing them now. Thanks for the help.

1 Like

AR/A4 feature request: pattern change mode also accessable on midi

Hello I succeded in setup program change from A4 to Digitakt but patterns switch with some delay on the digitakt so I can’t use song mode or pattern chaining from the A4 to DGT, it doesnt work, anybody has an idea about having it perfectly sync? Or is it a bug?

My Digitakt receives program changes from my Analog Rytm no problem, but the program change is delayed until the previous pattern completes (64 steps generally in my case). So my guess is that the program change is sent at the end of the current pattern, which is delayed because of inevitable MIDI latency.

Is this how it’s supposed to work, or is it a bug? Do patterns change immediately when other Elektron gear is sync’d together?

1 Like

hm, there is no sigificant latency that delays a pc for whole bars (or end of current pages). I guess this is DT’s normal pc-change mode. It appears on manual change as well.

1 Like

Did you ever figure out this delayed program change issue?

I just got my Digitakt today, updated it to 1.04 and have the same issue.

I have my OT as the master sending PC to AK and DT on channel 16 through a Kenton 5thru. Both devices are receiving the PC but the Digitakt doesn’t switch til 64 steps after it should. The AK switches just fine. I expected the DT to function the same as it seems so crucial to the elektron workflow.

Has anyone had success slaving the digitakt to a octatrack?

Hi, Im trying to change the pattern via MIDI from Ableton Live with no success. I set up the channel manually, but what do I need to send out? MIDI note? CC value? What is the value for pattern 1, pattern 2 etc.?

Never mind, I figured it out. BTW you need to send the pattern change message BEFORE the current pattern ends. So basically you shift every pattern change to the left

But this is not a work around, its a hinderance.

It means you have to be in Ableton TRACK VIEW, constructing a sequenced track with a PC part positioned at least a bar early. This makes it impossible to ‘jam’ with the Digitakt spontaneously, as the PC’s are all late. The only way is to manually change the Digitakt.

Its beyond me why although the DT receives the PC, its sits there queued until the current pattern plays. Perhaps its to do with sample loading? I am also very disappointed.

Well yeah I guess depend on your workflow and what you use it for. I think it has to do with synching so the current pattern has to end. If you’d send the new patter right at the start there might be synching issues considering the time it needs to load samples. Thats just a guess though.

Digitakt doesn’t need to load any samples when switching patterns. All project samples (for all patterns) is in the the 64mb sample ram.

The “problem” is that midi program changes needs to be sent before the current pattern has finished playing.


But why does it work smoothly for every other hardware keyboard, plugin keyboard I use? If there is no need to load samples then the issue can be fixed which makes it even worse as it is.

Almost ironically, theres a YouTube videos of the Digitakt sending different program changes to chop up a Korg monologue with every trig, yet the Digitakt can even program change until the bar is played? Surely not!

I feel like a conductor, telling the orchestra to start on bar 48, but the only slack ass who can’t read musical directions is the Digitakt

1 Like

It’s a sequencer and you’re expecting it to be able to predict the future.

Set a negative track delay for your program change clip track in Ableton Live, 30ms or so should do, YMMV. Then check your Digitakt master scale settings and ensure it has an appropriate M.LEN and CH.LEN values in Length per track mode…

Analog Rytm has three pattern play modes.

DIRECT START will immediately change patterns. The new pattern will start playing from the beginning.

DIRECT JUMP will immediately change patterns. The new pattern will start playing from the position where the previous pattern left off.

SEQUENTIAL will change patterns after the pattern currently playing reaches its end.

On the Digitakt I suspect there’s no options for pattern play mode and it seems you where expecting “direct start” when sending program change messages.

1 Like

Thats exactly it - everything else in my studio ‘direct starts’

I have been pursuing the experience as it is, making program changes in advance to sync everything and to be honest its been an irritating experience. Everything seems prone to loads of performance errors, there seems little consistency between takes.